What Not to Say to Someone in Addiction Rehabilitation

December 2, 2021
Solace Asia

In the previous blog post we talked about encouraging words for a loved one recovering from an addiction in a rehabilitation program. While it is helpful to know what to say, it is also helpful to know what not to say. Today, let’s look at 5 statements that you should refrain from saying to your loved one in addiction rehab.  

1. “I understand what you are going through.”

Each person’s struggle and recovery is unique so even if you have been through a similar rehabilitation program yourself, it is unhelpful to pretend like you know exactly what they are experiencing during their own journey. Instead, assure them that you are there to support them through this process. 

2. “How long have you been clean/sober?”

It is much better to focus on the current progress at hand rather than to ask about timelines and history. Focus on the present moment and encourage your loved one in the here and now. 

3. “Are you sure you really need treatment?” 

Aside from not being a professional in this area, it is unhelpful to plant a seed of doubt in your loved one’s mind over whether or not they should have sought help. The vast majority of the time, someone struggling with an addiction needs professional support so encourage them that they are taking great strides toward recovery with each step.

4. “How many more sessions until you’re cured?”

This question does not take into consideration the complexity of addiction, each person’s individual journey, nor the ongoing support needed to remain in recovery. Focus on your loved one’s current progress with each step of the way without asking them to forecast the future. 

5. "I’m sorry.”

When a loved one tells you they are in recovery from an addiction, focus on this positive step they have taken toward their healing rather than the struggle of addiction they have walked through. Focus on the now!

If your loved one is struggling with an addiction and is not yet receiving professional help, you can encourage them to contact Solace Asia at 012.885.4686 today. 

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